|Merryn Johns of Curve|
by Joe Siegel
Popular national lesbian magazine Curve has reinvented itself in a time of changing trends in readership. Most notably, the magazine will now be published on a quarterly basis instead of monthly.
Editor Merryn Johns said the move is a result of the busy lives of readers.
“They were giving us feedback that they didn’t have time” to read the magazine, Johns said.
Johns cited the increased use of social media as a factor in the decision. “What we discovered from surveys of our readers is they would enjoy a more luxurious print product,” Johns said, noting Curve has undergone a complete redesign and rebranding.
The magazine has even changed its tagline from “America’s Best Selling Lesbian Magazine” to “Living True,” which calls for readers to embrace their own sexual identities.
Curve continues its own digital presence, although that too has posed its share of problems. “We found that as a publication, we’re competing with ourselves,” Johns said.
The slower publishing schedule will also impact the editorial content, paving the way for more in-depth stories, according to Johns. “You can’t really be as deadline-driven anymore. What that means for us is [to feature] more iconic celebrity interviews, more lifestyle pieces that might be about seasonal offerings such as interior design or travel or fashion and food. And if we do any topical pieces that are politically oriented, they’re really well-researched think pieces.”
The latest cover features actress Cate Blanchette, who Johns considers an “iconic” figure in the lesbian community. There are also features on genderqueer fashion and singer Nona Hendryx. “We thought [Hendryx] was very emblematic of longevity and intersectionality,” Johns said.
So far, readers have embraced all the changes in the magazine. “We’ve had more response [to this relaunch] than we’ve ever had,” Johns said. “The e-mails, the letters, the word of mouth has been very positive for us. We’re really hoping it’s a turning point for Curve.”
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